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How sustainable is Asos ?

Asos & sustainability


Asos
First milestones, should be better Click here for score rapport: 9 out of 36

Sustainability summary

According to our sustainability criteria Asos received a D-label. According to us, Asos has started to take sustainability into account, by implementing measures to reduce carbon emissions, using preferable raw materials such as organic cotton for at least some of its garments, or by collaborating with several organisation, such as Ethical Trading Initiative, to improve the labor conditions in its supply chain. Still, a lot more can be done.

Brand owner: ASOS PLC
Head office: London, UK
Sector: Retailers
Categories : Male, Female
Free Tags: Asos, Bags, Caps, Pullover, Shirts, Suits, Jackets, Jeans, Dress, Shoes, Boots

What's your sustainability news about Asos?

Asos sustainability score report

Last edited: 28 January 2015 by Mario
Last reviewed: 28 January 2015 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

2 out of 7
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? ASOS has taken several policy measures to reduce carbon emissions, such as working carbon neutral or implementing energy efficiency measures at ist buildings (see link, p.36-38). Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? ASOS published a climate footprint for 2013. The climate footprint of own operations was 42,914 t Co2. ASOS does not publish a climate footprint of earlier years, but reports an increase compared to 2012. However, the emission were entirely compensated through carbon offset projects from "The Carbon Neutral Company" (see link, p.36). Source
3. Is the efficiency of greenhouse gas emissions below 200 kg CO2-eq per square meter shopping floor per year? ASOS is an online marketplace only. The company claims to purchase all its electricity on a green tariff from E.On and Haven, but is not clear about the additionality of this supply (see link, p.36 & 38). Source
4. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 3. Source
5. Does 100% of the electricity that the brand (company) uses for its ‘own operations’ come from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 3. Source
6. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce its absolute ‘own operations’ carbon emissions by at least 20% within the next 5 years? ASOS claims to be a carbon neutral company, but does not mention whether or not further reductions of 20% are planned (to further reduce carbon output as opposed to offsetting it) (see link, p.6). Source
7. Does the brand (company) also have a policy to reduce/compensate carbon emissions generated from the product supply chain that is beyond own operations (Scope 3)? ASOS does not communicate a policy to reduce the carbon emissions in the supply chain that is beyond own operations on its website. Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

2 out of 15
1. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 5% of its volume? ASOS has defined a sustainable cotton strategy for own label products in 2014 and intends to join the BCI (Better Cotton Initiative). However, ASOS does not communicate tangible information with regard to the total use of preferred raw materials such as organic cotton or recycled polyester (see link, p.63). Source
2. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 10% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
3. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 25% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
4. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 50% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
5. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 75% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
6. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 90% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
7. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures to make the clothes and footwear? ASOS has not published any commitment to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole life cycle of products. Source
8. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least one suspect chemical group, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? ASOS does not report whether at least 1 out of 11 suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or BFRs can be considered as fully phased-out in the global supply chain already. Source
9. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least three suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? See remark for environmental policy question 8. Source
10. Does the brand (company) have a clear and effective policy to minimize environmental pollution of chromium and other harmful substances from leather tanning processes, e.g. by waste water treatment or by vegetable tanning? ASOS does not openly communicate a policy to limit chromium and other harmful substances pollution caused by leather tanning processes. Source
11. Does the brand (company) have a clear target to phase out PVC in their products, and has the brand already achieved a PVC phase out level of more than 90%? ASOS does not report about having a plan to phase out PVC in their products. Source
12. Has the brand (company) a clear and effective policy to minimize the use of solvents based chemicals in their shoe production, and has the brand already achieved a level of average max. 40 grams of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions per pair of shoes? ASOS does not openly communicate a policy to reduce solvent based chemicals in their clothing production. Source
13. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of its shipping packaging and carrier bags, by reducing, re-using, recycling and responsible sourcing of packaging materials, and does the brand annually report on these results? ASOS implements several policy measures to minimize the environmental impact of its packaging, such as using recycled materials for its delivery boxes only, at least 25% of recycled materials for its bags or designing lighter packaging. ASOS reports, that per year 3 million kg of packaging materials are sourced (see link, p.39). Source
14. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? ASOS has cut the waste that goes to landfill from its London headquarters and Barnsley warehouse by 99% and aims to realize 100% by 2015. To achieve this ASOS implements several measures are implemented (see link, p.32 & 39). Source
15. Does the brand (company) encourage the return or re-use of garments? ASOS does not report, whether the return or re-use of garments by its customers is stimulated (see link, p.40). Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

5 out of 14
1. Does the brand (company) have a supplier Code of Conduct (CoC) which includes the following standards: No forced or slave labor, no child labor, no discrimination of any kind and a safe and hygienic workplace? ASOS is a member of ETI and follows the ETI base code (see links to questions 2&3 below). In the ETI base code all these standards are mentioned. Source
2. Does this CoC include at least two of the following workers rights: 1. to have a formally registered employment relationship 2. to have a maximum working week of 48 hours with voluntary and paid overtime of 12 hours maximum 3. to have a sufficient living wage? In ETI Base Code: 1. Yes, legally binding employment relationships (see point 8); 2. Yes, maximum workweek of 48 hours, overtime (max 12 hours) is voluntary (point 6); 3. Yes, commitment to implement payment of living wages. (point 5). Source
3. Does this Code of Conduct include the right for workers to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively; and in those situations where these rights are restricted under law, the right to facilitate parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining? In ETI Base Code: This right is mentioned, with reference to parallel means for the situation of law restrictions (see point 2). Source
4. Does the brand (company) have a clear and effective health and safety policy for the workers in the finishing process of jeans, at least covering the ban on sandblasting? ASOS has not publicly issued that sandblasting is banned from the brand's supply chains. Sustainability information should be easily accessible for consumers to make responsible choices. Source
5. Does the brand (company) have a published list of direct suppliers, that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume? ASOS does not provide a significant list of direct suppliers on its website. Sustainability information should be easily accessible for consumers to make responsible choices. Source
6. Is the brand (company) a member of a collective initiative that aims to improve labor conditions, or does the brand (company) purchase its supplies from accredited factories with improved labor conditions? ASOS is a member of the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI). Source
7. Do independent civil society organizations like NGO's and labor unions have a decisive voice in this collective initiative or in these certification schemes? ASOS is a member of ETI, which means that labour unions and/or business-independent NGO’s have a formal and co-decisive voice within the initiative and are co-responsible for the integrity and credibility of the initiative. Source
8. Is there a policy for the brand (company) for capacity building at the apparel manufacturers for improved labour practices? ASOS does not provide tangible information on capacity building measures at its supplying production facilities for improved labour practices. Source
9. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy? Is at least 90% of the brands production volume from apparel manufacturers monitored for labour conditions? ASOS reports to conduct supplier audits and having visited 337 supplier sites in 2014. It remains unclear, whether this value covers 95% of ASOS production volume in 2014. Also the provided information about audit results aren´t comprehensive enough (see link, p. 17-25). Source
10. Is at least 25% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? ASOS does not publicly report outcomes or results of its policies to improve labor conditions at its suppliers, which are verified by eligible third parties (see link, p.17-25). Source
11. Is at least 50% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labour conditions question 10. Source
12. Does the brand (company) implement a policy to establish the payment of living wages at its apparel manufacturers? Are at least first living wage payments realised? ASOS does not provide tangible information about policy measures to establish the payment of living wages at its direct suppliers. Source
13. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy for the fabric manufacturing phases, including a reasonable overview of the number and region of workplaces covered by the policy in relation to the total production volume? ASOS does not report on results of its labour conditions policy for the fabric manufacturing phases from spinning to final fabric. Source
14. Are at least 50% of the fabric manufacturing phases - from spinning to final fabric - approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FLO-Cert, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labour conditions question 13. Source